On Sept. 26, Maddie Brooks gave testimony to the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission about IPL's 97 million dollar request to upgrade the Petersburg coal plant. This request essentially commits this coal plant to burning coal for the decades ahead, a decision that ensures our already changing climate will continue to get worse. Here is her testimony:
I started high school at Herron High School in August of 2015. Ever since, I haven’t had a grade lower than a B. I work hard to keep my grades up. I work hard to be a good student, but lately I’ve asked myself “What’s the point if all of my hard work is being put into nothing that’ll matter?”
Indianapolis Power and Light has made an initiative to stop the burning of coal in both Morgan and Marion counties, but soon they’re going to begin asking their customers to pay up nearly 100 million dollars to help keep open their coal-burning AES-Petersburg plant, which is one of Indiana’s biggest polluters.
According to the Environmental Integrity Project, it’s the third worst water polluter in the nation for arsenic and fifth worst for lead. It spews out more toxic air pollution than any other power plant in Indiana, It’s the third worst carbon-polluting power plant in Indiana, with 11 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2014, and the plant has also been cited numerous times for violating the Clean Air Act, but not only did they violate the Clean Air Act, they violated the security of my future.
Indianapolis is my city, it’s where I call home. Is the city where I live supposed to have associations with businesses who are out to destroy my future for their convenience? And it’s not only my future at stake, it’s my siblings’ and my friends’ futures. My cousins' and the kids' down the street future. IPL should not want to keep pouring money into this deathtrap of a factory.
All I’m asking of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and the Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor is to stand up for kids like me -- here in Indiana and around the world -- and reject this plan from Indianapolis Power and Light to keep spending money on dangerous coal technology.